Michigan Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is a document signed by a buyer and seller that records the transfer of property. Bills of sale are used when buying or gifting valuable property like vehicles, firearms, horses, computer equipment, art, or collectibles. Learn how to prepare a bill of sale in Michigan and what information to include.

Michigan Bill of Sale Forms by Type

Important Terms for a Bill of Sale

  • Seller(s): The party or person(s) who gift or sell an item.
  • Buyer(s): The person(s) or the party who pay for an item or receive a gift.
  • Payment: Money or property exchanged for the item.
  • As-Is: Used when an item is sold without any warranty or promise about it being in working condition.
  • Gift: An item transferred to a new owner without anything of value being given as payment.
  • Sales Price: The amount of currency or value both parties agree to exchange for an item.
  • Notary public: A public officer who is a disinterested party in a transaction and can certify both signatures are valid.

1. Michigan Bill of Sale Requirements

Although some states require a bill of sale to register automobiles, boats, and other property, Michigan does not require a bill of sale for any specific transaction. Buyers and sellers can still benefit from having a legal record of their transaction, particularly when an item of value is exchanged or when an item that could incur liability changes hands. 

All bills of sale should clearly identify the seller, the buyer, the item being transferred, and all the details of the transaction, such as the price and date.

Both the buyer and seller need to sign the bill of sale for it to be valid. PandaDoc documents offer a way to collect legal digital signatures for remote transactions.

Why Use a Bill of Sale?

Buyers like to have a bill of sale to avoid any questions about ownership of an item. The bill of sale can also be useful if a buyer discovers that an item has been misrepresented by a seller.

By the same token, a seller can use a bill of sale as evidence that they have disclosed any defects or damage to an item, or that an item was sold as-is without any implied warranty. A seller can also use a bill of sale as evidence of the date they gave up possession of an item — such as a computer, car, or firearm — that might cause damage or liability.

Additional Considerations

Language Requirements

The bill of sale can be executed in any language, as long as both the seller and buyer are able to understand what they are signing. If the buyer and seller speak different languages, it’s a good idea to produce a bilingual document or attach a translation.

Number of Copies

The original document is usually held by the buyer. Make one copy for the seller’s records.

Junk Vehicles

Since the State of Michigan doesn’t require a bill of sale for title transfers, you don’t need one to generate a salvage title either. You only need the title itself.

After Purchasing a Vehicle

You have 15 days after purchase to transfer a vehicle title into your name. Visit your nearest Michigan Secretary of State office and bring:

2. Michigan Car (Vehicle) Bill of Sale

Michigan doesn’t provide a downloadable bill of sale document for vehicles, since the state doesn’t require one. However, you can create your own. Be sure to include:

  • Buyer’s full name and address
  • Seller’s full name and address
  • VIN 
  • Title number
  • Year, make, and model
  • Description, including features, engine type, and color
  • Any known defects or damage
  • Odometer reading
  • Sale price
  • Date of the transaction 
  • Delivery date, if different from the transaction date
  • Details of any liens, including full name and address of the lienholder
  • Signatures of all parties

The seller’s disclosure, above their signature, should state that the odometer reading and detail of damage or defects is complete and accurate to the best of their knowledge.

The buyer’s disclosure should state that they have reviewed the odometer reading and agreed to the sale price.

3. Michigan Boat Bill of Sale

For boats, you can create a bill of sale very similar to the one used for vehicles. Be sure to include:

  • Buyer’s full name and address
  • Seller’s full name and address
  • Title number
  • Year, make, and length of the craft
  • Description of the boat and its condition
  • Any known defects or damage
  • Make and model of trailer, if one is included
  • Make, year, and horsepower of outboard motor, if included
  • Odometer reading
  • Sale price
  • Date of the transaction and delivery date, if different
  • Details of any liens, including name and address of lien holder
  • Signatures of buyer and seller

The seller’s disclosure should state that they have informed the buyer of any known defects or damage. The buyer’s disclosure area should state that they have reviewed the odometer reading and reports of condition and agree to the sale price and delivery date.

4. Michigan Firearm Bill of Sale

Michigan doesn’t require registration of firearms, but a bill of sale gives the buyer and seller proof of the transaction if they need it for any reason.

When creating a firearm bill of sale, be sure to include:

  • Buyer’s full name and address
  • Seller’s full name and address
  • Date of the sale
  • Date the firearm officially changes hands
  • Make, model, caliber, and any other identifying characteristics of the firearm
  • Serial number
  • Purchase price
  • Any known defects or damage
  • Signatures of all parties

5. Michigan Horse Bill of Sale

A bill of sale offers a record of the details of a horse sale. This helps protect sellers from any liability after the sale and protects buyers from financial loss in the event an animal’s provenance or condition was misrepresented.

In your bill of sale, include:

  • Buyer’s full name and address
  • Seller’s full name and address
  • Name, breed, dam, and sire of the horse
  • Description of the horse: color, size, age, etc.
  • Health and condition of the animal, as represented by the seller
  • Any previous injuries or other known problems
  • Selling price
  • Date of the sale
  • Signatures of all parties

6. Michigan General Bills of Sale 

You can create a bill of sale for any large purchase, such as computers, antiques, art, collectibles, or sporting equipment.

Your document should include:

  • Buyer’s full name and address
  • Seller’s full name and address
  • A description of the item being sold, with any identifying numbers or information
  • Any information that impacts the price
  • A careful description of the condition of the item, including all known defects or damage
  • Indicate whether the item is being sold in “as-is” condition if there are no warranties or promises about its working condition
  • The selling price
  • The date of the transaction
  • A disclosure by the seller stating that they have revealed all known defects, damage, or other issues
  • Signatures of both parties

FAQ: About the Michigan Bill of Sale

Is a bill of sale required in Michigan?

A bill of sale is not required by the state for any transaction.

How can I create my own Michigan bill of sale?

Simply list all the details of the transaction, including the buyer, seller, any identifying numbers or serial numbers, a clear description of the property and its condition, and the date of the sale. Gather signatures for all parties involved in the transaction. There should also be a disclosure above the seller’s signature indicating that they have revealed all known defects and damage to the property.

Does a firearm need a bill of sale in Michigan?

Michigan doesn’t require firearm registration or any paperwork for private firearm sales.

What information do I need for a Michigan bill of sale?

Include descriptive information about the property, details of the transaction, and identifying information about the parties involved, along with their signatures. Your document should include:

  • Buyer’s full name and address
  • Seller’s full name and address
  • A description of the item being sold, with any identifying numbers or information
  • Any information that impacts the price of the property
  • A careful description of the condition of the item, including all known defects or damage
  • Statements about “as-is” or “final sale” conditions if there are no warranties attached to the sale
  • The selling price
  • The date of the transaction
  • A disclosure by the seller stating that they have revealed all known defects, damages, or other issues
  • Signatures of both parties

Bill of Sale Forms by State

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